Welcome to Perfomance Development Strategies.

We partner with our clients to help them determine where they want to go and what results they want to achieve.  Then we help you develop the action plan to make it happen.  We help our clients develop and manage strategic, cultural, and structural changes within their organizations. By working together, we can provide personalized processes and support materials that help turn goals into reality. We help organizations align their plan, people, and systems in order to gain a competitive edge.
We facilitate and coordinate programs to develop your company's human capital, focusing on attitude development, human relations, skill development, and goal setting.


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Customer Service and Customer Loyalty

The mastery of customer service can mean the difference between success and failure. The corporate trend of raising customer service is a business necessity. Customers are more willing to forgive a product failure than a service failure by a ratio of 5 to 1. If customer retention is important, then improving customer service must be the tactic. Unfortunately in many companies, the customer has become a low priority. When people are not treated according to their expectation, they will take their business elsewhere. What’s more, they relay their bad experience to ten or more other people. The question then becomes not whether to improve your companies service standard, but how?

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What is
coaching? Is it right for you?

Have you ever felt like you are navigating through your professional life alone? If you are like most executives and small business owners the answer is yes. In a corporation, the higher up the ladder you go the harder it is to find someone to discuss dreams, goals, actions, and success strategy. This is also true of the small business owner. Having a coach is like having a needed connection that cannot be made with others. For example:

Your spouse may listen but the dynamics of marriage relationship may cloud perspective and objectivity.

Your friends want to be helpful but they don’t have the training to identify real issues and they don’t have the time commitment.

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PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

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Grant Schneider

Grant Schneider

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Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Fear of change is an emotion that can become paralyzing.   But change is inevitable and all businesses must expect it. You have probably heard it said that what you did to get you to where you are now will not get you to where you want to go next. Changing the right things and taking the right action is crucial. Here are 5 beginning steps to take in the process of change for better results: 1.        Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in real estate, construction and contracting, graphic design, or consulting you must define what you provide to the customer. For example, Kodak should have realized that it was not in the film business but in the image and impression sharing business. In real estate are you selling houses or assisting buyers in improving their lives? 2.        Get in front of change.   The best...

Posted by on in Motivation and Goal Achievement
How do you live a stress-free life and have balance? Two things stand out for me. Be guided by your values and have a purpose then stay on course. You can stay on course with your personal GPS. The comparison to using a GPS is an easy one. We have them in our car and on our phone. We use them to order a car on Uber or we use them to find a restaurant nearby. We have become more productive and less stressed because we have used this very simple tool to help us navigate. What is so remarkable about this instrument? First, it lets you know where you are now. Then you can decide where you want to go. The GPS then gives you step by step directions How similar is this to you and your personal GPS; for your career, your business, and your personal life? Are you...
Tagged in: Goal Achievement

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Posted by on in Sales and Marketing
We visit our doctor solve a problem. That problem has something to do with our health. Let’s say we have a pain in our knee. Our doctor does a thorough examination. She asks us questions such as, where does it hurt? How long has it hurt? She may then suggest some of the causes of such pain such as a torn tendon. Then she asks if you have experienced unusual activity that might be related to our knee pain. She is helping us discover the root cause of our pain so that we will understand the need for surgery, if necessary.   If we are in sales, if we manage a team, or if we teach wouldn’t the doctor’s approach create the best results? According to Dan Pink in his book “To Sell is Human” we have gone from a world of Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) to one of Caveat Venditor...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
A high performing team is always created by an effective leader. Conversely, if an organization is full of performance issues you need only to look at leadership to diagnose the cause of the problem. Jim Collins in his book “Good to Great” talks about great companies being great because they are led by what he defines as a “Level 5” leader. Such a leader has all the essential abilities including contributing team member, competent manager, effective leader, and great leader. However, he or she also possess the unique blend of humility and will which is required for true greatness.   Start by hiring the people that fit the mission and vision of your organization and possess shared values. You then must keep them engaged and producing results. Engaged employees will lead to loyal customers and loyal customers will lead to a sustainable business. In today’s world, it is not enough to be...

Posted by on in Communication
Did you know that you can say the same sentence several times and have it mean something different each time? If that is true shouldn't you be very careful when you deliver a message? Recently I met executives of a Westchester County New York company. The employees felt that there were a lot of changes but also believed that management was not keeping them informed. Productivity almost always suffers in times of great change because employee stress dramatically increases due to the universal fear of the unknown. Often senior executives genuinely believe they are communicating with employees when it comes to matters that affect them. Unfortunately, they often underestimate the number of matters that includes. As a manager do you know with certainty what is important to employees and what to tell them? The only way to know is to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their position...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
HDWe can’t seem to find anyone who wants to work. How many times have you heard that or maybe said that yourself?   Or you may have heard, “Unless I tell them what to do nothing gets done. I can’t trust them to do it themselves.” When I recently heard this I asked the owner to give me an example.   “Well,” he said, “I have given them detailed directions of exactly what I want done and they don’t do it the way I told them.” “Wait a minute,” I said, “Didn’t you just say that you wanted them to take ownership?”   If you want employees to take ownership you must empower them to make decisions as to the best way to get things done. If this is a source of frustration to you, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First of all, have you provided her with...

Posted by on in Coaching
“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” That line from the movie Cool Hand Luke highlights a fundamental problem. There are many times in our business and personal lives where we don’t achieve a desired result from directing, explaining, or urging action. I would like to concentrate here on the “urging action.” Dwight Eisenhower said, “Leadership is getting people to do what YOU want them to do because THEY want to do it.” Let’s now use that quote and relate it to coaching. Coaching is not telling people what they need to do. On the contrary. It is helping them find the direction within themselves to solve a problem. Coaching is a process between a coach and a person being coached that helps the person being coached produce big results in their lives, careers, or business by deepening learning and improve performance and quality of life. The transformational part...

Posted by on in Improved Business Results
If you do not have a business where you can walk away when you want, then you don’t have a business but rather, you have a hobby. This is not a bad thing because this may be your business goal. You may wish to work solo. For the rest of you, you might want to read further. Does your business survive due to external dynamics and timing but will become stagnant when you are not there? In this case you might feel like you are a hamster on a wheel. There is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. As an example, in the restaurant industry there are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they know how to create a great meal. They decide to open their own restaurant. The restaurant might open and have sales but the owner might be so consumed with the food details that he might...

Posted by on in Communication
How do you feel when someone is telling you want they think you should do? You probably don’t see their point and resent being “told.” Many times, even if it is good advice, you resist following it. Unfortunately, too many people use the same technique in trying to persuade someone or to make a sale. Here is a recent encounter I had with a sales consultant. I was questioning the comparable features offered by two different iPhone telecommunications carriers. During the conversation, I pointed out that one carrier had an additional benefit. The additional benefit enabled the user to check an email or check on the Internet while using the phone. The consultant shot back, “you’re not going to surf the internet while you are driving.”   What? How did he make that leap? I had a legitimate reason for wanting this service. When I am at a remote office I can...

Posted by on in Motivation and Goal Achievement
Are fear and procrastination holding you back from doing what you want to do now? These two obstacles need to be overcome if you choose to succeed. Fear takes many forms and they are all success killers. Fear causes you to play it safe when you should be taking calculated risks. When you take the path that is uncertain you have the opportunity for greater rewards. And as you take those less travelled paths you will become stronger. Procrastination is really another problem and it could also be related to fear. Fear of failure or fear of success. This manifests itself in excuses such as these: “Getting ready to go to work”. For example, “I still don’t have my resume, my presentation, or my 2 sharpened number 2 pencils”—you get the idea! Many times people want to do great things but they never follow through. Why? One possible answer is that...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
If you were just appointed manager what is now your new responsibility? In the earlier times of business and industry the role of a manager was not that complex. The manager oversaw what employees did. People performed or were fired. This traditional boss is no longer effective and no longer welcome. Management today is more complex. There are really two parts: management and leadership. As manager you are responsible for the performance of your team, your business, or your company. In essence, the buck stops with you. That does not mean that you do everything yourself. It also does not mean that you offload your responsibility to your employees. It means that you get results with your people. That means that you must delegate with confidence. You must be confident because you can only delegate tasks and even authority but you can never delegate your responsibility. An effective manager must still...

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
Now that you have carefully selected the correct fit for your company you will want them to stay. You do that by creating an Employee Value Proposition. Get this wrong and you will continue to tread water always trying to catch up. Get this right and you have one very important component for taking your business to the next level. a team of people, or are charged with human resources in your organization you know how important it is to retain your best people. So why do so many employee leave, or worse, why do they stay and become a drag on the organization? Here is a sobering fact. Employees do not leave companies, they leave supervisors. Many supervisors believe that if only the pay and fringe benefits were better their best employees would stay. I would not deny the compensation is important. However, people who are truly engaged with their...

Posted by on in Hiring and Selection
Has your Westchester County NY business has grown and you realize you must hire your first employee? You might be tempted to reach out to someone you know. Hiring someone because of friendship ignores the purpose for hiring someone in the first place—the fact that you need someone with specific qualifications to do a job. Many businesses find that selecting and hiring of the right employee is a daunting task. Some people just hire anyone who applies or, at best, they may ask a few quick questions before making an offer. Hiring the wrong person can be costly but hiring high performing employees will result in helping your organization meet its goals and will promote your brand to your customers. Before accepting an application or advertising you should have a clear description of duties for the prospective new hire. Know exactly what you need. What are the duties required? What behaviors...

Posted by on in Attitudes and Behaviors
It seems that when many people hire a staff member that spend a tremendous amount of time on resumes, skills and knowledge. And yet people usually don’t fail because of lack of skills. It is usually bad behavior, bad actions, or bad attitude. Several years ago, I heard Zig Ziglar speak. He said, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” What do YOU think about when you hear the word attitude? When I ask this question at workshops people usually respond with examples what they consider a bad attitude. It may even have a negative connotation to you. The fact is that people do not put enough emphasis on how attitude affects performance. Attitudes DO affect performance. In fact, they affect everything that we do. There is a strong link between attitude and performance. Let’s start with defining what attitude means in this context. An attitude is a pattern of thought. It affects...

Posted by on in Communication
rawpixel.com It’s human nature to want to know that when you’re telling someone something, they’re listening to you and taking your points on board. This is particularly true when it involves your job. As a manager, you have significant influence over whether your team members will enjoy their work and the environment in which they work in. Central to this is an ability to show that you are a good listener, picking up on strengths, interests and problems and responding to feedback. With research indicating that we remember 25-50% of what we hear, it seems fair to suggest that most of us could probably do more to improve. Managers are no exception! How can I become a better listener? The best way in which to improve your listening skills is to practice ‘active listening’. This means fully taking on board what another person is saying and trying to understand properly...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
All results, good or bad, are the result of the leaders. Think about organizations in the news, both good and bad, and the leader of the organization is heralded or blamed. Yes, the leader sets the tone, the direction, and also models behavior. Positive results are the result of positive leaders. Show me an organization that functions very well and I can show you a positive engaged leader. I recently asked a group of employees in Westchester County NY what was wrong with their company. They replied, “We need positive leadership. We need leadership with people skills.” What does your organization need? Does it need more sales or more profits? Does it need an updated marketing plan that gets results? Does your organizational structure need to change to get business to the next level? Regardless of how you answer these questions one fact is abundantly clear. It is your people who...

Posted by on in Sales and Marketing
People have a perception of a salesperson as a pushy person trying to convince someone to buy something he or she does not need. If you have been a buyer you know the stress involved in going into a car showroom to buy your next car. With these images in mind it is no wonder that people are reluctant to become salespeople. Now what is your perception of your doctor when you have a problem or a pain? If you are going because of stress, anxiety, or pain you are looking for the doctor to relieve your pain and solve your problem. This is the exact opposite image that you might feel about sales? Is it the profession or is it something else? It is something else and here is why. If you visit your doctor because you have a pain in your back the doctor does a complete examination and...

Posted by on in Fear of Change
Procrastination is the root cause of many time management issues. In fact, time management is usually not a time management problem but a behavior problem. Procrastination is something that we all have to confront and deal with from time to time. It's only natural to procrastinate at times, but the way you deal with your procrastination patterns will determine what effects procrastination has on your life. Why is it that so many people start out with good intentions to achieve a goal but never achieve that goal? When you procrastinate you simply fail to take action on the very things you know will bring you the rewards that you desire. You know you want the rewards and know you must take action but you hold off, make excuses and, in short, procrastinate. Procrastination can be caused by a fear—a fear of failure or the fear of stepping outside your comfort zone....

Posted by on in Employee Engagement
The employees of your business are important to your success. It is important to have the right person in the right job. Just as important, you must give your employees the support that they need to do the best work. Unfortunately, I am sometimes contacted by business owners that can’t understand why there are so many bad employees and they want me to fix them. Really? It doesn’t work that way. Here is an example. I have changed some things so as not identify anyone. I was asked by a family business what I felt needed to be done to “make their people work.” They did not ask me what they could do differently. For starters, family members disagreed on the operation of the business. Because of this, some key employees chose to align with one family member over the other. The managers in the business complained about lack of leadership...

Posted by on in Strategic Leadership
Fear of change is an emotion that can become paralyzing.   I am reminded of a story relayed to me by a Westchester County NY CEO. The business has had years of successful sales and profits. Although the long standing business model had produced great sales and profits, lately there had been a small decline in sales and profits. Since the business was making money the CEO reasoned let’s just see what happens. If it’s not broke don’t fix it. Unfortunately, with this business and others there are constant changes in the economy and market. You can wait for change to force you to do something and then react. But that is not the best option. The best option is to predict and get in front of change. These are some of the things you should you should be doing proactively: 1.        Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether...


Grant has worked with us at MAS to provide expert strategic planning knowledge and direction, effective goal setting and team development. I highly recommend his services to anyone who is looking to grow, organize or even redefine their business growth goals. Marshall that he had the greatest sales increase in 2012 30%

December 6, 2012, ~ Lisa Schmid and Marshall Marinace



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